Man United's seven-goal thriller with Newcastle and Man City's defeat to Sunderland... The Soccer Special gang review the Boxing Day drama
Last Updated: December 27, 2012 9:50am
Matt Le Tissier on Man United's dramatic 4-3 win over Newcastle
"We've been saying for months that Man United can't keep going behind in games - and they went behind three times in this game - and winning them, but they just keep doing it. They keep going and score late goals so often because of the mentality that has been instilled in them over the years by Sir Alex Ferguson.
"I felt really sorry for Newcastle; they put in one of their best performances of the season and the fact they have come away from the game with nothing is a travesty. But they will be buoyed by the performance of Papiss Cisse; he was decent and his left-footed finish for Newcastle's third goal was emphatic.
"Cisse was also involved in the game's controversial moment: Newcastle's second goal; he was in an offside position when Danny Simpson's cross-cum-shot was swung in and Jonnny Evans got in a muddle, fell over and the ball hit him and went in.
"Cisse would have tapped the ball in if Evans hadn't and he made the Man United defender make a mistake, so he was interfering with play, in my opinion. The linesman disallowed the goal but the referee gave it - and Ferguson was furious and very lucky not to get sent to the stands."
Tony Cottee on where Man City fell short against Sunderland
"I didn't think City were on their game; Vincent Kompany hit the bar and David Silva had a shot saved by the impressive Simon Mignolet, but their build-up play was too slow and putting Joleon Lescott up front was a desperate measure.
"City didn't show enough steel, and they didn't do enough to draw the game let alone win it. That will concern Roberto Mancini, because when Man United don't play well they can still draw or win, so these are difficult times.
"There was a foul, in my opinion, in the build-up to Sunderland's goal when Craig Gardner clattered into Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart was deceived by Adam Johnson's strike, too; he was expecting a cross and not a near post-shot and the ball squirmed underneath him.
"But Sunderland were tactically superb; they defended well and looked very dangerous on the break, and Johnson, James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon were excellent."
Paul Walsh on Chelsea's narrow victory over Norwich
"Norwich set themselves out to be hard to beat and didn't have a lot of options going forward, and while Chelsea had a lot of the ball they didn't create a lot, so it was a game of few chances.
"But it was won by a moment of brilliance from Juan Mata; when he received the ball from Oscar he had four or five players in the vicinity but put a great left-foot hit into the corner."
"Fernando Torres wasn't great but David Luiz enjoyed getting on the ball in holding midfield; he was breaking things up and made runs forward - even if his shots ended up in the top tier of the stands! Chelsea weren't convincing but did enough and are capable of having a very good run now the confidence is returning."
Phil Thompson on the refereeing decisions that cost QPR against West Brom
"QPR had some bad decisions go against them; firstly, Marc-Antoine Fortune backed into Robert Green from a corner and Green couldn't get off his feet to punch the ball, so it bounced off his fist and went into the goal and West Brom went 2-0 up.
"You can say the 'keeper should have been stronger but it shouldn't have been allowed. Then Rangers should have had a penalty at the end when Liam Ridgewell handled the ball.
"The referee should have seen both controversial incidents, but like we saw when Reading played Man City at the weekend, the team at the bottom who are fighting for their life did not get the decision. Still, it took Rangers an hour to find any urgency - which they got after going 3-5-2 - and West Brom were comfortable - even though their 'keeper Ben Foster made a worldy save from a Clint Hill header."